How to Get a Client to Pay You 3x More Than They Planned
21 Mar 2016
I’ve have learned that when it comes to a client being willing to pay a premium for your product or service, it’s about how you’ve positioned your brand and the value you bring to the table.
Most times, when a client approaches you and tells you they’ve paid three times less to another company than what you’re charging them to do a project, it’s usually because they’re comparing apples to oranges. I get his all the time as a brand strategist who also does design. What this lower price from another company doesn’t take into account is my 18+ years of experience; the millions of dollars I’ve helped clients raise or earn from the work I’ve done for them; or the fact that I go beyond the logo and focus on how the strategy will ultimately impact the bottom line.
And that’s where it’s important for you as a businessperson to be able to seamlessly educate your clients and prospects on why your product or service is worth the premium price. 70% of your job is actually client education. The more informed they are up front, the easier your job is on the back-end. A clear and compelling value proposition is the reason people pay 3x more for an Apple computer versus a Dell. It’s the reason athletes pay more for Nike versus Champion sneakers. It’s the reason consumers pay more for organic foods than processed.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get a client to focus more on your value instead of your pricing, try the following five tips which have worked for me time and time again:
1. Research the client thoroughly and ask them the right questions to understand their priorities/pain points. Get a very clear understanding of what success looks like to them. Before proposing any kind of solution, you need to know the problem(s) the client needs you to solve. The more you can speak directly to their pain points, the better chance you have of getting them to buy into your solution. Once you’re ready to define the solution, make sure you tailor it to speak to what success looks like for your client.
2. Present a comprehensive proposal that addresses priorities while helping reduce risk. When presenting the solution to the client, you have to find a balance between providing a comprehensive solution and giving way to much information that could overwhelm, and even chase the client away. This is where your communication skills are most critical. It pays to be able to explain a concept very simply, but powerfully, in a way that’s both relatable and convincing. Avoid using overly complicated jargon and use the K.I.S.S. principle. Find ways to reduce the client’s risk by providing some kind of guarantee to help ease any doubts they may have.
3. Go beyond expectations and propose solutions they hadn’t even considered but that make sense for them and add value. Every single one of us gets excited when someone goes above and beyond our expectations and surprises us with a solution that was completely unexpected, but just what
we needed–we just didn’t know it until we saw it. In my work, I have found that often, clients have one way of looking at a solution to a problem that resembles the status quo. Be the person to surprise and delight your client or prospect with something completely different, but appropriate, and watch their budget rise with their expectations.
4. Paint a visual picture of the result (people are visual!) the
client will get by working with you. Use their logo and branding on the proposal so they can picture themselves in the scenario. Know how to create that “feel good” feeling with your client by putting the client in the environment of success. Do this by using words and pictures which create an emotional connection to the solution you are proposing. Whenever appropriate, use their logo and branding in your proposal to better enable them to see themselves in your definition of success for them. There’s something powerful that happens when you create a vision that your client can see themselves in.
5. Explain how your solution is going to benefit your client short- and long-term. What is their ROI (return on investment)? How will this make the decision-maker look like a hero? Too often, we focus on features of our product or service, instead of how it will benefit our client or customer. The best business pitches speak to the client’s problem and how they will benefit from using your solution. If you can do this and tie it to their bottom line (will it help raise/make money or sell more product?), you are more likely to succeed. When speaking to the ROI, make sure to mention results you’ve gotten for other clients to demonstrate your ability to provide an effective solution.
People are willing to pay more for premium products and services; but at the end of the day, it’s your job to educate them on why they should. If you want to charge a premium, make sure you’ve positioned your brand to do just that.
What tips do you have for attracting premium clients?